elisechenier: (butch/fem)
[personal profile] elisechenier posting in [community profile] fromoutlawstoinlaws
Archivists are the unsung heroes of the historical profession. They are made all the more special by the fact that in the lesbian and gay archives sector most are unpaid, or underpaid. Theirs is a true labor of love.

Doing research in volunteer-run archives means that services can be patchy. You rely on the goodwill and good humor of others, and luck and happenstance can have as much to do with your research results as a good method and thorough approach.

When I first began contemplating same-sex marriage as a research topic, I contacted the Lesbian Herstory Archives. As luck would have it, the volunteer archivist in that day was someone who worked particularly hard to help answer research queries as best she could. When I asked if the Archives had any research materials on lesbian weddings or marriages before 1980, she found a few clippings in a file, and suggested other collections they had where I might look. She also went the extra mile and chatted up a few of the long-time Archives volunteers and workers, women whose participation in the local lesbian scene went back to the 1960s and '70s New York community. One of them suggested I contact Daisy de Jesus. Continued.

Crossposted from [personal profile] elisechenier

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January 2014

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